Acoustat Spectra 1100 loudspeaker JA Takes a Listen

JA Takes a Listen, August 1991 (Vol.14 No.8):

Not emphasized by GL is the fact that these speakers are no wimpy audiophile electrostatics: they kick butt! After I'd finished measuring the review pair in my room, I put on some Stevie Winwood for light relief, the Acoustats being driven by the Goldmund Mimesis 8 that I'm currently reviewing. The 1100's bass may be exaggerated in level, but it's tight as a nut and it goes low—this from an 8" woofer! (It is not irrelevant that the Spectra 1100's design places the woofer in close proximity to the floor, where it will be given a helping hand by boundary coupling.) Coupled with the generally clean nature of the speaker's mids, this tempted me to wind up the level—and I did.

Ultimately, I had the amp well into clip—it was giving out a measured 34V RMS, equivalent to some 195W into the Spectra's 6 ohm impedance—on "Valerie," with an unweighted spl at the measured position of 108dB, but apart from some low-frequency fuzz and some obviously clipping-related treble congestion, the music communicated most effectively—although doesn't it seem telling that there is no synth equivalent of the air guitar? (Dropping the spl to 104dB eliminated the nasties, leaving the sound loud and clean.) "I'm the same boy I used to be!" But the smell of burning shellac coming from the speakers' crossover boxes suggested that those wanting to do some serious partying with the Acoustats should probably invest in a bigger amplifier than the nominally 125Wpc Goldmund.—John Atkinson

Brand no longer in existence (2014)